2026 WORLD CUP FOOTBALL

FIFA™ | United States of America, Canada & Mexico

2026 World Cup cities decision

FIFA’s decision on which cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico will host the World Cup in 2026 is likely to be made at the beginning of April 2022.

The selection process to reduce candidate host cities to definitive host cities has been delayed several times. Not surprisingly, this was the result of the Covid pandemic. The world football association FIFA had to convert the first series of introductions to online meetings. And Covid also has the physical visits, later, postponed several times. Anyhow, this is the status of the allocation of the 2026 World Cup host cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico:

  • The latest news is that FIFA will make the 2026 World Cup cities decision at the end of March, beginning of April 2022.
  • FIFA is trying to provide clarity at the end of Q2 anyway.
  • Now, at the beginning of 2022, a thorough assessment is taking place after the completed inspection tour.
  • The final round of site visits took place from November 17 to 22, 2021, in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Los Angeles, Edmonton and Toronto.
  • Between October 21 and November 1, 2021 it was the turn of Kansas City, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Monterrey, San Francisco, and Seattle.
  • The inspection visits kicked off in September 2021, in the cities of Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami and the New York-New Jersey area.
  • Montreal withdrew as a candidate host city in July 2021, in short due to a budget deficit.
  • Note: Los Angeles has SoFi Stadium and the Rose Bowl as potential venues.
  • FIFA will probably choose sixteen host cities. However, this number may still vary.
  • In 2018, 23 candidate host cities successfully applied, being part of the United 2026 BID of the three North American countries.

Allocation 2026 World Cup cities

FIFA chief tournaments and events officer is Colin Smith. Closely involved in the site visits is the CONCACAF, the continental union for North America, among others. Led by President Victor Montagliani who also holds the position of FIFA Vice-President.

Which factors determine the allocation of the 2026 World Cup cities? There are many and major challenges for the cities, stadiums and organization as a whole. Various factors play a decisive role in completing this complex puzzle. Such as those in relation to logistics and infrastructure; including stadiums, training facilities and potential FIFA Fan Festival™ venues. Accommodation, venue management, communications, and sustainability are other main ingredients for this essential puzzle. Naturally, the same applies to commercial, legal and legacy matters.

2022 World Cup: only 8 stadiums | 2026 WC 16 or 17

Transportation and distances play an extra important role for the 2026 World Cup because of the large surface area of the three organizing countries. At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, there will only be eight stadiums within a 50-mile radius. But now there’s the scoop of three hosts, with likely 16 or 17 stadiums in total. Each and every one of the host countries is a large nation (USA, Canada, Mexico). And the host cities often have substantial differences in climate, heights, temperature and distances. That leads to major challenges in terms of the World Cup time zones and travel schedules for many of the teams and fans. Obviously, FIFA wants to limit these distances for the participating teams and their fans as much as possible, also by drawing up an optimal schedule.

In addition, there also are substantial differences between the stadiums. As an example, whether or not the stadium has a (semi-) closed roof. Another example: the presence or absence of above-average advanced services and technologies. Furthermore, still one of the issues for many of the pitches is converting synthetic fields to grass surfaces, which is required by FIFA.

Remaining candidates for final 2026 World Cup cities decision

As mentioned, FIFA will likely choose 16 host cities, but this number may (slightly) vary. The world federation looks at the total of all advantages, disadvantages and factors that weigh in. Will there be sixteen hosts for the global finals in 2026? Then Canada will have possibly two, Mexico three, and the United States eleven 2026 World Cup host cities. The main candidate for the final is the MetLife Stadium in New York/New Jersey.

The (probably) sixteen final host cities at the 2026 soccer tournament will host a total of 80 matches. The starting point is 60 matches in the United States, and twice ten matches in both other countries. This large number of matches is the result of the record number of participating country teams: 48. The qualifiers will start in 2023 and last until 2025.

Canada host cities (potential): Toronto and Edmonton.

Mexico host cities (potential): Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey.

United States host cities (potential): Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, DC.


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FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIcation

World Cup Football Qualifiers North America, Central America, Caribbean

Qualification North America, Central America, Caribbean

In North America, Central America and the Caribbean, the FIFA qualifiers run from March 18, 2024 to November 18, 2025. Six, seven or eight of the 32 participating CONCACAF nations qualify, joining hosts USA, Canada and Mexico.

World Cup Football Qualifiers South America

FIFA World Cup football Qualification South America

In South America, the FIFA World Cup qualifiers run from September 7, 2023 to September 9, 2025. A total of 10 CONMEBOL nations participate. Six to seven South American countries will qualify. There is one single round.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Europe

FIFA World Cup football qualification Europe

In Europe, the qualifiers run from March 17, 2025 to March 31, 2026. A total of 55 (of 54) UEFA nations participate. Sixteen European countries will qualify. There is one group stage (Round 1), followed by the European play-offs.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Asia

FIFA World Cup football Qualification Asia

In Asia, the World Cup qualification runs from October 12, 2023 to November, 2025. A total of 46 AFC nations participate. Eight or nine Asian countries will qualify. There are three qualifying rounds, before the play-offs.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Africa

FIFA World Cup football Qualification Africa

In Africa, the World Cup football qualifiers run from November 13, 2023 to November 18, 2025. A total of 54 CAF nations participate. Nine or ten African countries will qualify. There are two qualification rounds.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Oceania

FIFA World Cup football Qualification Oceania

In Oceania, the FIFA qualifiers for the World Cup football run from September, 2024 to March, 2025. Eleven OFC nations participate. One or two Oceanic countries qualify. There are three qualification rounds.


2026 HOST CITies & STADIUMS

Host Cities USA

The 2026 American Dream: the United States is one of the three hosts of the FIFA World Cup Soccer in North America. The USA is the host country with the most - eleven - host cities.

Host Cities Canada

With Vancouver, and Toronto, Canada has two host cities for the world's football finals in North America in 2026. Get more information about the characteristics of these exciting and diverse, dynamic cities.

Host Cities Mexico

With Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico has three candidate host cities for the World Cup in 2026. Each host with its specific ambience, history, attractions, hotspots and other features.

Stadiums USA

The United States will have eleven stadiums for the FIFA 2026 World Cup. Click for more information about these fantastic and modern venues in the USA, and which matches they will host.

Stadiums Canada

During the 2026 World Cup finals, these are the two venues in Canada: BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, and BMO Field in Toronto. Find out more about these attractive Canadian stadiums.

Stadiums Mexico

In Mexico, the FIFA 2026 World Cup will take place in these stadiums: Estadio Akron in Guadalajara, the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and the BBVA Bancomer Stadium in Monterrey.